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D&D 3E/3.5 Edition Experience - Did/Do you Play 3rd Edtion D&D? How Was/Is it?

How Did/Do You Feel About 3E/3.5E D&D?

  • I'm playing it right now; I'll have to let you know later.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    228

teitan

Hero
Same for me. 3e to me is perfect - 100% real D&D feel, but cleaned up and rational.



You found the secret! 3.5e Core Books is the platonic ideal of D&D, and works best in levels 1-about 10, maybe 12. That’s assuming you lIke low-level D&D, which I wholeheartedly do. Fireball is awesome, but when you get into 4th and 5th level spells, PC’s are a little too much for normal adventures, IMHO.

Just as pure 1e AD&D Core Books is awesome, if you can deal with the messiness and ignore a lot of it (weapon speed?) - 3e is the streamlined version.

Nah just get Swords & Wizardry! Lol I kid. I love me some 1e AD&D!
 

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Viking Bastard

Adventurer
Same for me. 3e to me is perfect - 100% real D&D feel, but cleaned up and rational.



You found the secret! 3.5e Core Books is the platonic ideal of D&D, and works best in levels 1-about 10, maybe 12. That’s assuming you lIke low-level D&D, which I wholeheartedly do. Fireball is awesome, but when you get into 4th and 5th level spells, PC’s are a little too much for normal adventures, IMHO.

Just as pure 1e AD&D Core Books is awesome, if you can deal with the messiness and ignore a lot of it (weapon speed?) - 3e is the streamlined version.

I prefer higher level play. Or rather, I prefer higher-PC-power play. 5-15 is probably what I'd have preferred in 3e, but I just found everything too cumbersome to bother past 10th (and it was already shaky at that point).

Maybe it was better in 3.5, I don't know, we never switched.

There's some perfect balance of crunch and smoothness of play for me and 3e ultimately went too far into crunch for me.

Eventually I just burned out on it and I think I had burned out on it a while before I abandoned it, leaving a bad aftertaste.
 


Voadam

Legend
I liked a lot about 3e. The OGL was amazing spurring a ton of material I liked and guaranteeing D&D could be available later. The online SRD meant I could reference the rules easily in a time when I started playing by email, doing a lot of play by post games, and discussing D&D on forums like EN World.

While I loved Basic and AD&D and had felt I'd be playing them for life, 3e addressed a lot of the issues I had with those systems: xp was no longer a balancing mechanic between classes or high level effectiveness versus low level effectiveness, 1 hp 1st level characters, one shot only 1st level magic users, some classes being like others but with just more powers, AD&D's reverse bell curve stat benefits, percentile strength being such a mechanically significant difference, detect evil detecting evil intentions, save or die, energy draining.

It had a design goal of classes being balanced for combat which I was appreciative of. It allowed any race class combo and had no level limits. Intuitive save categories. It allowed more player build choices throughout the game.

3e/3.5/d20 had a huge array of playstyle options. The wizard was high resource management tracking but if you wanted a magical low resource tracking caster class you could (after they came out in 3.5) play a warlock and never track spell slots.

There was a ton of ways to easily mod the game to tune it to a different preference and these were out there in a ton of published games and game books. I liked a lot of options out of Unearthed Arcana for example.

There are enough issues with balance, fiddly mechanics, and specific mechanics that it is no longer my system of choice, but I enjoyed a lot of it as a system and would play it again.
 


That’s an opinion. My players and I had zero issues with the Pally and I don’t recall seeing many complaints about them or the monk. Just the Ranger. Even looking back on these forums to see there aren’t any. You’re just showing off edition warrior tendencies here.
Paladins were Tier 5 in the 3.5 tier list, written up by 3.5 players. Calm down with your edition warrior accusations. They were demonstrably an ineffective class. They were subpar melee characters. Their spellcasting was a joke. Their Smite Evil was weak even when it could be used at all.
 


Voadam

Legend
Paladins and Rangers were also probably the best classes in 3e to solo with or for smaller parties. They were more durable with the d10 HD, had decent offense with martial weapons at full BAB, could use cure light wound wands for self healing, and the paladin had great AC and saves while rangers could go stealth. Clerics and Druids are good as well but the difference in hp and BAB makes more of a difference for a solo and spells run out quicker.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
On April 24th, I compiled the survey results and posted them in this thread. Not just the survey results; I also collected and analyzed (to the best of my ability) the comments and "nuance" I requested in the comment section as well. I have linked that survey to the OP in this thread, and in all of the other edition surveys as well.

But discussion continues, and votes are still coming in. I'm continue to collect and update the survey info, and I will be updating the summary soon. Thanks everyone for your (continued) participation! This has been a fun and enlightening exercise in the history of our hobby.
 


Paladins and Rangers were also probably the best classes in 3e to solo with or for smaller parties. They were more durable with the d10 HD, had decent offense with martial weapons at full BAB, could use cure light wound wands for self healing, and the paladin had great AC and saves while rangers could go stealth. Clerics and Druids are good as well but the difference in hp and BAB makes more of a difference for a solo and spells run out quicker.
Clerics needed a grand total of 1 first-level spell to match or surpass the Paladin and Ranger in physical combat.

Druids didn't even need that. All they needed was Wild Shape. And then the Animal Companion made Druids twice as good in physical combat without casting a single spell.
 

qstor

Adventurer
3.5 is my favorite edition. I played Living Greyhawk for eight years. I took a break from D&D in college and played 2e at the "tail end" in '98-99 and remember when 3.0 was coming out in 2000. I was excited. I run 3.5 now online and ran 2 campaigns from 2012-14 using 3.5 and I'm excited to run it again soon.
 
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Quartz

Adventurer
Clerics needed a grand total of 1 first-level spell to match or surpass the Paladin and Ranger in physical combat.

I liked Paladins as a prelude to some of the Prestige Classes. I seldom bothered with more than 4 levels, though. Something like Fighter / Paladin / Divine Crusader made for an interesting character development.
 

Thrandir

Old style gamer
Still playing 3.5 with homebrew and multi-classing hasn't been an issue for my groups for the last 20 years due to them being a role play choice rather than power/min-max choice.
I've been playing DnD since the 70's and for me 3.5 even with it's warts (hence the homebrew) suits the play style of my group. In addition to DnD during the 70/80/90's I played many other RPGs and these all helped influence the modified 3.X of our group.
Admittedly I haven't played 5th but have read the core rules and some I like and others I'm meh on; I do know from reading it would speed a number of things up but I feel it would lose some things as well.
I suppose the 2 main reasons for not swapping or giving it a go is expense (my wife would kill me) and having to re-jig/re-write 12 books worth material for the World I use for staging all my campaigns in.
I personally believe each edition has pros & cons and it is always up to the playing group to use the rules that works for them and gives them the most fun.
 

3E/3.5 Edition was when I seriously got to like being in DND despite being aware of 2E, but never playing either editions. It was also the edition where I actually started getting into the actual product books and their splatbooks. My first ever DND book purchase was Sword and Fist, followed by Manuel to the Planes, and Races of Destiny. A lot of my lore for DND stemmed from the Forgotten Realms of that edition as well. Yet I never had a group to it with as nobody in my circle played DND except for my best friend, who at that time, had moved to Philly. From there I acquired other books in the line at the sacrifice of my computer(and that's all I'll say in that regard.) My other experience with the edition was via Neverwinter Nights 1 and its expansions.

The Psionics of said edition is the version that I am familiar with and prefer the most concept wise. And because of this version, I heavily associate animal companions with Rangers and Druids. Was also a big fan of the level 1-40 progression, even if Epic Spells needed some fine tuning. I also enjoy and loved the Warblade and the Tome of Nine Swords. That is when the Martial "fighter" of the edition finally became actually worthwhile. I also dig the idea of Prestige Classes from it, even if I believe the 5E Prestige class should just be a five level progression that covers levels 15-20. Perhaps the only thing that I don't miss from the edition is the multiclass focus to even have effective characters. (If you enjoy the system mastery, great. It just wasn't for me due to the sheer number of class options out there.) The Gestalt rules is probably the only optional rule that makes that a bit enjoyable. Also its Skill system is, bloated which issues that stem from Class/Cross Class skills and that stuff.

And I'll be quite honest, I actually liked a number of the Splatbooks. Especially some of the 3PP like Mongoose Publishing. Was a big fan of the Quintessential Paladin book and the specialized Custos in it which were weapons that pretty much had their own Classes and Class level progressions. (so technically unique Holy Avenger knock-offs that had an Outsider , with unique NPC classes, bound to it). And yes, that like also extends to an infamous 3PP book due to its lore take for various species in it.

I've mentioned before in other threads, when talking about playing 3E/3.5, that I would still need to pimp the ever living smeg outta it to tune up a number of things. Examples being using Pathfinder 1's skill system to make it less harsh, and using a number of its positive changes towards classes, like the Paladin and the Cleric's Energy Turning, to make said classes less crap.
 
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Marc_C

Solo Role Playing
In short, I welcomed the unification of the system and the use of the same rules to create monsters/foes. We ended up playing a lot more of d20 Modern, Urban Arcana, Star Wars d20 (1,2e) and Star Wars SAGA than D&D. The multi-classing rules were very good for modern and sci-fi campaigns. Usually we started directly at level 3. As a GM prefer more robust characters to begin with. We switched to 4e when it came out but played it only for two years. Did not go back to d20. Tried other systems instead. Today I prefer Modern AGE (green ronin).
 

I'm a little annoyed, 'cause my actual answer wasn't there, so I went with the closest thing.

Because, when I was playing it, I thought I liked it. But now that I look back on it, I wasn't actually enjoying the game. I was enjoying the time spent with others and the roleplay that any game could foster.

Edit:
These days, I can enjoy some focused 3.x/PF1 play. You gotta be in it for the gonzo crazy unbalanced stuff, because trying to force a truly balanced system out of it will fail sooner or later. Might as well enjoy the ridiculous power level and stupidly detailed builds.
 

Soooo... I know I am late to the party, but necroing this relatively fresh body shouldn't be a dire crime.
Third edition brought me back to fantasy, after getting bored of World of Darkness. I ran 3.0 for a while, never reaching higher levels, and mostly on core rules, so there were no major issues, but - at some point I ran Scarred Lands campaign, that took my players from level 1 to level 8 (or 9). At this point we were all sooo tired with game complexity. We took our usual summer holiday break and after that break, we never resumed. We got into 7thSea game, and I realised, that my players have more fun with it and I am spending on prep fraction of time I used to with D&D.
That said, friend of mine ran 1-20 Greyhawk campaign with 3rd rules, and I am envious of it ever since. Regret not being able to play it, regret even more never doing it myself.
 


Played it & liked it.

3E was a grand clean-up mechanically of all the kludge of AD&D and 2E and I found it to be like a breath of fresh air. At the time I could not see myself ever playing AD&D or 2E again after so much of the game was made logically sound and clearer with 3E.
Agreed. The "A" was dropped from the name. Ability score modifiers were all on the same scale (as seen in Basic before). All classes had the same XP advancement. There were no race/class restrictions. It replaced THAC0 with an Attack Bonus, and made d20+modifier vs DC the universal mechanic that could be relied on for most things in a pinch.

All in all, it FELT simpler, cleaner, freer. A breath of fresh air. At the time, my biggest problem with it was simply the artwork, which continues to be my least favorite of any edition.

Now, while it was also exciting to see skills becoming a default part of the core game, feats being introduced to allow all classes (but especially fighters) greater customization options, and multiclassing becoming so simple, in retrospect it was TOO MANY knobs and dials for my tastes. 5e has been a good evolution in that regard.
 

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